2011 Beginning the Year with a Bang 1/1/2011
Terry Miller decided to throw together a small get-together to try out a match play event. The weather was extremely cold and windy, I would guess somewhere near single digits when we arrived at the course and the wind was blowing at least 15-20 MPH. The idea to do this small match play event was somewhat spur of the moment so we only ended up with 7 people. Terry Miller, Mike Harrington, Dane Miller, Ben Habanek, Ben Lynch, Jason SanFilippo, and Jennifer Brandt. Jennifer offered to just sit out the matches and just play along for the fun of it. I think that was the first time that Jason and J.B. had played Valley View also.
We had random draws for who each person played and we all agreed to quick 9 hole matches. It was freezing cold and 3 rounds of 18 would have taken way too long. I drew Ben Habanek for Round #1.This was bound to be a good match. Ben and I had both been playing about the same in leagues for quite a while. We started out on the front 9 with this first match. Ben birdied #1 after I was unable to throw in a long putt so he went 1 Up. Then I ended up 3 putting on #2 while Ben safely took a 3 getting him to 2 Up. We pushed #3 with pars, and despite me birdying 4, 5, and 6, Ben was able to tie me on each of those holes and again tying me on 7, 8, and 9 with pars. So Ben won the match on 8 winning 2 and 1.
I ended up drawing Jason in the second match. I was fairly confident I could handle Jason . . . since it was his first time at Valley View compared to the 250 rounds I had played here in the last 2 years. We began the second round matches on the back 9 and we both parred #10 but I birdied #11 to go 1 Up. Then Jason bogied #12 while I took a par taking me to 2 Up. We somehow both bogies #13 but I bogied #14 and #15 while Jason parred taking us back to All Square and I missed a fairly simple putt on #18 for par and Jason won the hole and the match 1Up. I literally cannot think of the last time I had 4 bogies on an entire round at Valley View let alone just the back 9.
We re-sorted the third round by each persons record. Dane Miller and I both had 2 losses so we were playing for 5th place. Ben Lynch and Jason San Filippo were each 1-1 and playing for 3rd place while Ben Habanek and Terry Miller were 2-0 so they were playing for 1st place.
In the third round we started back on #1 again. I bogied #2 to give Dane the first lead of the match at 1 Up. Then Dane birdied #5 and #6 giving him a 3 Up lead and when we push #7 he ended with the win 3 and 2 so I took 6th place out of 6 people. OUCH!
I kept playing along watching the finals match between Ben H. and Terry. I also decided I would be running for an ace on #8 and #9 because we had all agreed to pay out on an ace. I didn’t do well on #8 and ended with a par, but when I stepped up to #9 I called my shot.
In the picture the basket is on the far left side of the shot not in the red circle (alternate position). It is a straight shot with jail beyond and to the left of the basket, so if you miss the ace you will be in trouble.
I said I was going to kiss the right side of the tree 5’ in front of the basket, while I missed my line by an inch on an absolute bee-line, I did not miss the basket and I had myself another Valley View Ace. This was my 6th ace overall 1st of the year on the 1st of the year, and I ended up with $30 from the group. The funny thing is that I won more on that ace than Ben Habanek did for winning the whole Match play. He got paid $20 and Terry ended up with $10 for their first and second place finishes.
This was a really fun event and something I plan to make bigger someday. I have played a lot of match play in golf and it is absolutely a true test of will and determination as opposed to just skill. It is a very mental type of competition and really gets the adrenaline flowing. Writing this blog entry is enough to make me go layout a format for a match play tournament right now. Look forward to a tourney later on in 2012!